Colorado Mesa women’s rugby team tops 100 points in win over Utah State
Colorado Mesa women's rugby team tops 100 points in win over Utah State
For the second time this season, the Colorado Mesa women’s rugby team scored more than 100 points against Utah State University, routing the Aggies 108-7 on Saturday.
The win secures the Western Division spot in the Eastern Rockies Rugby Union playoffs for CMU, which the Mavericks reached each of the previous three years.
CMU will play Utah Valley University to wrap up its regular season, then the Mavericks will face the top two teams of the Eastern Division in a four-team playoff, likely Wyoming and Colorado College, according to CMU coach Randy Lewis.
The playoff champ advances to the regional tournament in the spring.
“There will be friendly games in the spring to get us ready for regionals and nationals, but ultimately the focus of our spring season is those two tournaments,” Lewis said. “We’ve been doing well this season, and we’ve gotten a lot of chances to get our backups in so we can build the program for the future.”
The Mavericks are looking to return to the Western Region championship game. The Mavericks won the Western Region in 2010 in a field of teams from seven states. Mesa finished second in 2011. The winner of the Western Region secures a spot in the national tournament, where the Mavericks lost to Notre Dame in the second round in 2010.
“This year, when all our seniors have been playing for four years, I like our chances of winning a national title,” Lewis said. “They ultimately have to put together some of the best form they’ve had. We have awesome forwards and some very athletic backs. Our forwards are like offensive linemen, and they’ve done a great job managing the game from right there.”
Against Utah State, 10 different players scored a try for CMU. Two Utah State players were injured in the second half when Kristin “Squeaker” Starr broke five tackles and rumbled down half the field for a score. Colorado Mesa players had to suit up for the Aggies to finish the game.
All-American senior Mackenzie “Mack” Lewis scored four tries for Mesa, and senior Kirsten Miller had three.
Senior captain Amber Jones is one of seven seniors who have been with the team since it was formed in 2009. She credits the national-title aspirations to a core group of girls who play as a team.
“We have to be ready for some big girls in the postseason,” Jones said. “We’re a small team, but our strengths are in our heart and our forward play.”
The Colorado Mesa men’s rugby team lost 74-10. Youth has been a large part of the Mavericks struggling to a 2-4 record this season. Eighteen players have never played rugby before this year. Mesa has three more games in its fall season, and playoffs begin in the spring.
“They’re a young group of guys,” coach Doug Evans said. “We’ll work on fundamentals and tackling. We need to keep attacking.”
Ryan Laframboise and Kellen Wotley scored tries for CMU.